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268 posts
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) faces a recall campaign
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) faces a recall campaign (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State finance officials said Monday it would cost about $2.67 million for a special election on the recall of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), but only $931,000 to put his potential recall on the regular June primary ballot, which will also feature races for governor and congressional seats.

The savings — and the time it took to complete the financial assessment — could give ammunition to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to put the recall measure on the primary ballot, possibly improving Newman’s chance of staying in office. The higher turnout expected in the primary might benefit Newman as he tries to fend off the Republican recall drive.

The financial analysis was a new requirement of a law approved this year by the Democrat-controlled Legislature that has slowed the Newman recall. Brown and legislators now have 30 days to review the election cost report.

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  • 2018 election
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) speaks in Sacramento in August 2014.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) speaks in Sacramento in August 2014. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The special election to replace Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) will be in spring 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday.

Brown said the primary election to replace Bocanegra would be April 3, with a potential runoff to follow June 5 — the same day as the state’s regularly scheduled primary election.

Bocanegra resigned last month amid a sexual misconduct investigation after multiple women accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. His resignation, combined with that of Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) under similar circumstances last week, put Democrats in the Assembly below the two-thirds supermajority threshold needed to pass tax increases and urgency legislation without GOP support. The soonest Democrats could regain that standing is after Bocanegra’s replacement is selected.

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Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas is greeted by activists at the state Capitol.ge.
Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas is greeted by activists at the state Capitol.ge. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Assemblymen Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) and Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) have agreed to pay fines to the state’s political watchdog agency for violating campaign finance rules, according to documents released Monday.

Ridley-Thomas has agreed to pay $3,500 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to properly report contributions he received for his 2014 election.

He failed to report a contribution of $7,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11, within 10 days as required by campaign finance rules, according to a report by the commission’s enforcement staff. He also failed to disclose contributions of $1,000 from PG&E and $8,200 from the Los Angeles County Firefighters Local 1014 Legislative Fund Committee within 24 hours, the report said.

State officials have enlisted counter-culture comedian Cheech Marin to help educate Californians that if they want to start a business to grow, distribute or sell marijuana they have to register their business with the state.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla has created an online portal for cannabis firms to register and conduct other business with the state, including registering trademarks and converting non-profit entities into for-profit companies.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control will begin issuing licenses to firms for growing and selling cannabis on Jan. 2, but one requirement is that they first register their business with the secretary of state.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Rachel Payne for Congress)

As 2018 approaches, the roster of challengers looking to unseat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is already at a dozen candidates.

Rachel Payne, a former Google executive who now heads up two Southern California-based technology firms, announced Monday that she’s running against the 15-term Republican from Costa Mesa.

In a video posted to her website shortly after she announced, Payne focused on job security and stagnant wages, saying it was important to ensure “everyone has an opportunity to play the game” in a rapidly changing economy.

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  • California Legislature
  • Politics podcast
  • Sexual harassment

Only two people — both men in the state’s Gold Rush era — have served as the leader of both houses of the California Legislature.

A third person, a woman, will join that elite list early next year.

On this week’s California Politics Podcast, we discuss the selection of Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to be the new Senate president pro tem. Atkins left her post as Assembly speaker less than two years ago.

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Renewing his criticism of President Trump’s stance on climate change as he traveled to Paris for an international meeting, Gov. Jerry Brown said on Sunday that the president’s agenda has a “reckless disregard” for the seriousness of the problem.

“Nature is not a political game. Nature is the ground on which we stand, it's the air which we breathe,” Brown said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “The truth of the case is that there's too much carbon being emitted, that heat trapping gases are building up, the planet is warming and all hell is breaking loose.”

The governor left on Sunday for an event marking the two-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Accord, a summit whose final agreement was praised by Brown but rejected by Trump this past June.

  • State government
  • California Legislature
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California’s landmark law to require new disclosure of prescription drug prices was challenged in federal court Friday, with the pharmaceutical industry accusing state officials of trying to “dictate” national healthcare policy.

If successful, the lawsuit by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America could either delay or derail implementation of what supporters predicted would be a major improvement in the transparency of drug pricing. The industry effort argues the state law is unconstitutional.

“The law creates bureaucracy, thwarts private market competition, and ignores the role of insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and hospitals in what patients pay for their medicines,” said James Stansel, the trade group’s executive vice president, in a written statement.

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Lobbyist Pamela Lopez accused Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of sexual misconduct.
Lobbyist Pamela Lopez accused Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of sexual misconduct. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A lawyer for Sacramento lobbyist Pamela Lopez wants the state Assembly to detail how the investigation into her client’s sexual misconduct claim will be conducted, saying Lopez needs assurance that politics won’t influence the final conclusion.

Lopez filed a formal complaint letter with the Assembly Rules Committee on Monday, saying Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) followed her into a bathroom, masturbated in front of her and urged her to touch him.

She said she decided to name him in public after Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), chairman of the Rules Committee, urged sexual harassment victims in the Capitol community to come forward, promising a neutral and unbiased investigative process. 

  • 2018 governor's race
John Chiang
John Chiang (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California gubernatorial candidate John Chiang wants to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis by spending billions more on low-income development and offering greater financial incentives to cities that permit new building.

“The housing shortage in this state is a drag on our economy and is a barrier to climbing the socioeconomic ladder for thousands of families in California,” Chiang said in a statement.

Chiang, the state treasurer, released the plan on his campaign website Friday. The policy changes he wants to make include: